Welcome to my Indo-European homepage




This site is about Proto-Indo-European mythology, as well as how it relates specifically to the Germanic and Norse religions.

WHY the interest in Proto(or Pan) Indo-European mythology?
If we are to believe the general scholarly view that the Indo-European tribes share linguistic roots (pater, father, fader, pitar, etc); then it would only make sense that at one point in time, the various religions all shared a common ancestor (just as the languages did).
Thus by learning about the various different cultural correlates, we learn more about the gods themselves, as they truly are... without the colored lenses of a single cultural perspective.

Furthermore, I would like to state that my own personal interest in comparative PIE mythology developed out of my love for Norse mythology/religion; and that only after number of years did I begin to broaden my interests into the larger PIE picture.
With that in mind, you will see that a great many of my articles place heavy emphasis upon the Norse and Germanic elements.

However, before going further, I would also like to state that I have a serious issue with how Teutonic mythology is generally interpreted. By that I mean the rather orthodox view that Snorri is the "be all - end all" of Norse myth and that everything else is simply filler and comentary upon his (Snorri's) work.
Snorri's myths were written in Iceland in roughly 1220 AD, after the close of the heathen age.
Saxo's myths were documented slightly earlier, sometime in the 12th century in Denmark.
Both collections offer a snapshot, an extensive one to be sure... but a snapshot nonetheless. They depict the religion in the 12th and 13th centuries, in Scandinavia and Iceland.

To take that snapshot as some sort of utterly sacred text which perfectly defines the Teutonic Gods; is a MASSIVE disservice to the breadth and depth of the topic.
The works of Saxo and Snorri simply document the most recent evolution and revision of the material, within the isolated Scandinavian lands.

For an example, let us compare Greek and Roman myths.
Look at the Greek myths of 500 BC and then the Romans in 400 AD. Look at the changes; the deification of Caesar, Mithraism, State cults to abstract virtues, and the influence of Judaism and Christianity! To proclaim that the earlier Greek and later Roman religions are exactly the same is just ridiculous.

Look at the scant but crucial information we have on the myths of Gaul, and then the much later Welsh myths from the dawn of the Medieval Age. Once again... not the same.
But for some reason, people like to say that the Continental Germanic myths at the time of Tacitus (as well as the slow progression of Continental and British Saxon myth) ARE the same as the Scandinavian myths of Snorri recorded centuries later and miles away!
Such a statement is absurd.

True, the more recent myths are usually much more thoroughly documented. And it is very true, and only prudent to use the recent myths in order to gain insight into the older myths. Furthermore, I know that the early information is spotty, with huge gaps. But that is all the more reason to investigate it carefully... because those gaps may contain precious details if we could just uncover them.

But, to attempt to forcibly reinterpret the older myths according to the newer, is the same sort of poor theology that we see when the early Vedas of 1,500 BC are reinterpreted according to modern Hindu thought.
That is *revisionism*, and we simply need to avoid it.

Therefore please come in and look around... but do so understanding that these pages do not take the word of Snorri as being gospel - these pages are instead devoted to drawing independent conclusions about the early Germanic myths and may in fact, question some of those long held beliefs which have been based upon 12th century writings.


I would like to close by stating that very little of the work on this site is utterly *mine* ...
It is always based upon the work of those who have come before me - I may add some things or see a connection that others have not - but my position is to stand upon the shoulders of giants (such as Jaan Puhvel) and act as more of a compiler than anything else.
Having said that, please do use proper citations if quoting anything from these pages.


A. Crandall


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